Heating water for cleaning and cooking accounts for up to 30% of the average home’s energy budget — and that assumes your water heater is functioning properly. With that in mind, it’s also important to remember that it’s not always easy to determine when your water heater will fail. But as is the case with other types of full service plumbing, it’s always best to stay proactive and invest in a water heater replacement before you notice a major issue. That being said, here are just a few signs that may indicate that your water heater is about to fail and needs to be replaced.
One major sign of impending water heater failure is red, rusty water. If you ever notice a bronze- or off-color water coming from the hot water pipes within your home, then call a plumber as soon as possible, because chances are something is about to go wrong. Of course, if you have galvanized piping and experience this issue, it could be a result of rusted pipes as opposed to the water heater itself. You can determine the culprit with a simple test.
Here’s how to perform a simple hot water heater versus rusty pipes test:
“If you have galvanized piping, you may have rusty pipes. A good test to avoid replacing a functioning water heater is to drain a few five-gallon buckets of hot water out of the water heater. By the third bucket, if the water from your heater is still coming out rusty, then most likely the water heater (not the piping) is at fault,” writes Yana Carpenter on Angie’s List.
If you’re still in doubt, simply call your local plumber for assistance. A qualified plumbing contractor will quickly be able to diagnose any potential water heater issues.
Some homeowners think that moisture buildup around the tank is normal, but that’s not always the case. Most of the time, moisture buildup around your hot water heater is a sign that there may be a small fracture causing a leak. But before you get it replaced, make sure that there aren’t any other leaks originating from the fittings or the connections to the tank itself. As in the tip above, when in doubt, schedule a visit from a trusted plumber to know for sure.
Ultimately, water heaters can account for as much as 30% of your home’s entire energy consumption, but that number can increase with the age of your appliance. That’s why recognizing the need for a replacement can lower your utility bill and possibly even prevent a more serious issue in your home. For more information about full service plumbing, contact Carlson Duluth.